The year’s AIM Independent Music Awards will close tonight with a tribute to the late, great drummer Tony Allen with a very special performance from long-time friends and collaborators Damon Albarn, Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso, Gorillaz’ Seye Adelekan and Remi Kabaka Jr., as well as Allen’s The Good, The Bad & The Queen bandmate Simon Tong.
This very personal tribute performance of the track ‘Go Back’ from Allen’s fifth album Film of Life will see Allen’s former student Femi Koleoso on drums; Simon Tong on guitar; Seye Adelekan on guitar and vocals; Remi Kabaka Jr. on percussion; and Damon Albarn on vocals and Wurlitzer. Tony Allen collaborated closely with Damon Albarn on many projects over the years including The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Rocketjuice & The Moon, as well as the music collective Africa Express.
The performance celebrates Allen posthumously receiving the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Music award in association with Merlin for his rich and hugely significant creative output. He is also in the running for Best Independent Track in association with Facebook for ‘We’ve Landed’, a collaborative track with the late jazz great Hugh Masekela.
The news comes the day before the first ever virtual AIM Independent Music Awards celebrating its tenth anniversary year, which will be broadcast live on SBTV’s YouTube channel on 12 August from 7pm. Viewers can tune in for free via YouTube here or aimawards.co.uk/watch.
Other artists lined up for the show include UK rap frontrunners AJ Tracey and Little Simz, who are both also receiving awards this year, and rising star Arlo Parks, who is nominated for One To Watch in association with BBC Music Introducing. Other special guests are yet to be revealed.
Leading the way for virtual live events, Little Simz and AJ Tracey’s performances will take place in an ‘extended reality’ studio, creating an exciting hybrid of video and live performance brought to life by 3D graphics, with enormous potential for compelling visual storytelling.
18 awards, from Best Independent Label in association with [PIAS] to the famous Best Independent Album in association with Spotify, will be given away on the night, with the full list of nominees now announced and available to view here. Digga D and Moses Boyd currently lead the way with three nominations each.
Those wishing to get the full AIM Awards experience are invited to download the official app, featuring exclusive content from performers and partners and giving guests the chance to take part in live polls and discussions during the event. To download it, simply search ‘AIM - Official’ in the app store.